Reduce Customer Experience Friction to Improve Contact Center Efficiency

min read
Reduce Customer Experience Friction to Improve Contact Center Efficiency

Does it seem like wait times are increasing, inventories are declining, and contact center hold times are more interminable every time you contact a business? It’s not your imagination — Forrester Research’s recent study found that, for the first time in years, the average customer experience is getting worse. 

Is your business’ customer service staying up to snuff? Or are your consumers becoming frustrated with you? Poor customer experiences can be extremely damaging for your business — every year, they cost U.S. companies over $1.6 trillion in lost revenue. They can also harm your organization’s reputation, since customers who have bad experiences are 2-3x more likely to leave an online review.

The contact center is one of the most important customer service channels — according to our research, 68% of consumers place a phone call while making high-stakes purchases. If you can create seamless call experiences for your customers, you can greatly increase their satisfaction. 

Keep reading to learn how conversation intelligence can help you reduce customer experience friction at the contact center and increase satisfaction as a result. 

1. Take a Human-Centric Approach to Your Contact Center Metrics

The first step to improving the contact center experience is quantifying it. If you don’t have metrics in place, you’re just shooting in the dark and hoping that your new strategies are making a difference. Only once you benchmark your performance with hard numbers can you learn what kind of impact your optimizations are having.

However, it’s important that your KPIs align with the human experience you want give your customers. Metrics can be helpful guides, but if you’re measuring performance based on traditional cost-focused contact center goals, you can end up doing more harm than good. For example, if you put too much emphasis on reducing average wait times, you may end up rushing customers off the phone. Or if you’re too focused reducing call volume, it can make it seem like you’re intentionally avoiding your customers. Focusing on cost-centric KPIs can create an unsatisfactory experience that can hurt brand loyalty in the long run. Using human-centric contact center metrics on the other hand makes it more likely that your goals will help you drive toward what your customers want — an amazing experience.

Below are some key metrics that you should benchmark in your contact center:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Net promoter score
  • Number of blocked calls
  • Average wait time
  • Abandonment rate
  • Average handling rate
  • After-call tasks
  • First call resolution
  • Service level
  • Contact quality

Want to learn more about call center metrics? Check out our blog, 10 Contact Center Metrics to Monitor to Ensure a Top-Tier Customer Experience.

2. Deflect Unnecessary Calls Before Customers Even Think of Dialing

To provide an exceptional customer experience, you need to meet your customers where they are instead of forcing them into whichever conversion path is easiest for you. Sometimes, customers who want to make an online purchase are forced to call you because they’re encountering barriers to purchase on your website. This creates a frustrating experience — especially if they have to wait on hold or endure multiple transfers. 

Conversation intelligence solutions like Invoca enable you to detect when your consumers leave your digital buying experience to place a phone call to your customer service team. These are critical moments when your consumers face potential barriers to purchase. If you want additional detail into the online-to-offline journey, you can connect Invoca to your website experience analytics platforms like Decibel, Fullstory, and Quantum Metric

Once you’ve identified the pages that are driving digital abandonment, you can use Invoca’s AI to automatically locate trends from the calls. This will allow you to discover the “why” behind the digital abandonment on each page. You may learn that your checkout process is overly long and complicated, the online shopping cart was stalling due to a server or backend issue, or the page lacked critical information the caller needed to make a purchase.

After you’ve diagnosed the issues, you can make the appropriate changes to correct them. For instance, you can send a support ticket out to fix the technical issue with your shopping cart or update your product pages to answer callers’ FAQs. This will have a two-pronged effect — you’ll increase your online conversion rate and you’ll also improve the contact center experience by deflecting unnecessary calls and freeing up your agents.

3. Deliver Seamless Call Routing Experiences

There’s nothing more frustrating than when consumers call your company, only to be juggled between agents, put on hold, and asked to repeat themselves. Poor routing experiences like this can cause your customers to abandon their calls, decreasing your conversion rates. They can also make your customers less likely to call in the future and damage long-term brand loyalty.

If your company has multiple locations or contact centers, routing issues can become even more pronounced. It can be difficult to standardize experiences across all of your locations without completely reconfiguring your current telephony.  

Lucky for you, there’s a solution that can provide seamless routing experiences across all of your contact centers and locations, without any changes to your existing telephony. Invoca conversation intelligence allows you to set up custom routing and IVR configurations for all of your locations from one central portal in the platform. As a result, you can ensure each customer can quickly get in touch with the right agent or location to meet their needs. 

Below are some of the routing tools Invoca provides to help contact centers improve call experiences:

  • Intelligent call routing: Easily create rules in Invoca to automatically route each caller to the best location or agent to assist them. Popular call routing strategies for contact centers include routing people who called from a technical support page to a customer care agent, so you can keep support calls out of the sales department.
  • Ring group call routing: Reduce unanswered calls by having Invoca route callers to a list of phone numbers sequentially, simultaneously, or via round-robin until someone answers and accepts it. Route calls to a location first, but if they don’t answer, forward the call to a contact center or IVR. You can also route calls to a prioritized list of local agents so top performers get more calls or distribute leads equally. 
  • Conversational IVRs: Create custom IVR phone menus in minutes powered by natural language processing (NLP) to automatically qualify and route callers to the right location, department, or agent based on intent that the caller expresses. IVRs can also answer questions, assist callers during busy times or when locations are closed, collect consumer data, and deflect the wrong types of calls from tying up your agents. 

4. Give Agents Pre-Call Insights to Personalize Phone Conversations 

Once the call is routed to the best agent to assist the customer, Invoca can also help your call center agents take the experience to the next level with pre-call whisper messages or screen pops. Your agents will receive these messages before they answer the phone, providing them with valuable insights on callers, such as their name, geographic location, any marketing campaigns they interacted with, and the webpage they called from. 

You can also integrate your pre-call data with Five9. With our integration, all of this data is automatically exposed in Five9, in real time, when the call is connected to the agent. See how it works in the video below.

Your agents can use this information to anticipate the caller’s needs, pull up any relevant information, and tailor the conversation accordingly. Since your agents will be able to more quickly answer caller questions, whisper messages can help improve many of your most important contact center metrics, including customer satisfaction, net promoter score, average wait time, abandonment rate, average handling rate, and service level.

5. Automatically QA 100% of Calls to Standardize Great Experiences

Of course, the human connection that customers have with your agents is at the core of the contact center experience. Your agents are the face of your brand and you need to ensure that they’re following your brand’s approved scripts and treating your customers with empathy. But monitoring the quality of every phone conversation can be a challenge, especially if you have a large contact center, multiple contact centers with separate divisions for sales and customer care, or multiple business locations 

Some companies choose to listen to a small sample of their calls to do quality assurance and score agent performance. However, this method is flawed — your quality assurance is only scratching the surface of the calls you receive. It’s probably not an accurate sample size to truly assess agent performance — you could be catching your best agents on their worst days or vice versa.   

To solve this problem and get visibility into every phone conversation, leading brands use conversation intelligence to automate call QA. Invoca uses AI to automatically QA every call. Call scores are based on your unique criteria, and you can set separate scorecards based on agent function — for example, you can create an AI scorecard for sales and a separate one for customer care. 

In addition to giving you a complete picture of agent performance, Invoca’s automated QA can also improve agent morale. Your agents can rest assured that the scoring process is completely fair, unbiased, and transparent. This removes the noise from the process and allows them to focus on doing their jobs and performing at their best. 

How MoneySolver Uses Invoca Automated QA to Double Contact Center Close Rates

MoneySolver is a national financial services company based in Jacksonville, Florida that helps people and businesses transform their student loan, tax, business, and credit situations. 

MoneySolver has about 100 sales agents in total. With such a large team, giving each agent meaningful feedback about their performance was a challenge. To solve this problem, MoneySolver rolled out Invoca conversation analytics. This allowed them set up AI-powered scorecards to automatically QA agent performance on every call. With the help of Invoca’s QA, MoneySolver doubled their close rate at the contact center.

“Invoca has been a game-changer for us. Our agents can see exactly where they’re falling off the talk track and get instant feedback on how they can improve,” said Mark Roblez, Director of Call Center Operations at MoneySolver. “It’s helped us to double our close rate at the contact center.”

6. Improve Agent Performance With Virtual Coaching Tools

Beyond QAing your agents’ calls, you also need to give each of them personalized coaching to reinforce their strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses. This process, likewise, can be time-consuming, especially if you have dozens or even hundreds of agents reporting to you.   

Invoca makes the coaching process easier by automatically identifying coaching opportunities within your call recordings and transcriptions. This saves you countless hours of listening to calls and allows you to focus on what’s most important — actually giving your agents feedback.

Another challenging part of the coaching process is that more companies have adopted remote or hybrid working methods. This can make it harder to quickly and effectively give your agents feedback on their performance. But with Invoca, you can virtually coach your agents directly in the platform. You can highlight specific moments in the call transcriptions and @mention agents to give them feedback in real time. 

In addition, Invoca gives your agents instant access to their own AI-generated calls scores. This gives them the autonomy to learn from their mistakes in real time and self-coach. They’ll no longer have to wait until their next one-on-one with you to get coaching insights — they can continually improve their skills, and ensure they’re giving customers a top-notch experience that’s tightly aligned with your brand standards. 

Additional Reading

Want to learn more about how you can improve the call center experience for your customers? Check out these resources:

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